Transparency International for Latin America and the Caribbean (TILAC) today signed a cooperation agreement with the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA). Both organisations are joining forces to combat judicial corruption, a source of injustice that denies citizens the basic right to a fair and impartial trial.
“In order to protect the rights of all and not only the privileged few, judicial reform focused on increasing transparency should be a priority for all leaders who are truly working to decrease the inequality and poverty that affect nearly 40 per cent of Latin Americans,” said Silke Pfeiffer, Director for the Americas at Transparency International, who is in Santiago to sign the accord.
The TILAC-JSCA agreement establishes a general framework for cooperation on the development and implementation of joint activities. The entities will jointly sponsor conferences, seminars, workshops and other academic meetings; coordinate tasks of interest to both agencies; exchange information; and execute projects.
This agreement provides a key legal basis for the fulfillment of one of the main tasks entrusted to JSCA by the inter-American system: facilitating the exchange of information and other forms of technical cooperation and thus contributing to improving the quality of public policies on justice in the hemisphere applying a regional perspective.
In regard to the importance of reaching agreements to combat judicial corruption, JSCA Executive Director Juan Enrique Vargas said: “Judicial corruption is normally thought to be a problem of people, but it is actually a matter of flawed institutional design. If the incentives are not appropriate, anyone could tend towards improper behaviour. It is important to develop institutional policies and sector reforms that point in the right direction, such as those that introduce oral procedures and offer greater levels of transparency and citizen oversight.”
Judicial transparency is one of Transparency International’s priority areas. In 2007 TI published its Global Corruption Report focused on judicial systems.
The Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA) is an international agency that was created in 1999 by the institutions of the inter-American system. It is headquartered in Santiago de Chile and its membership is comprised of all active member states of the Organization of American States. The Center’s mission is to support the countries in the region in their justice reform processes. To this end, it develops training activities, research and empirical investigations, and other actions.
Transparency International for Latin America and the Caribbean brings together the national chapters and contacts from the region. Transparency International is a global network with over 90 national chapters fighting to end the devastating effects of corruption.
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